Last year we utterly adored the pickled onions from Perfect Pickles. They were vibrant, crunchy, acidic as hell and really rather spicy, so we purchased a few jars of the new season’s onions to have over the Christmas break, this is how many we got:
As work has been a bit crazy over Christmas, and I’ve been a bit crazy too, it’s only now that we can bite into them:
The new season’s onions have the same frighteningly acidic bite as last year’s. It’s the white wine vinegar they’re pickled in, by arse does it hurt my poor, abused stomach. Terrifying acidity just to sit down and eat, I’m telling you, man. They are similarly crunchy, which is good; soggy pickled onions are no good at all. They seem to have a stronger taste of cloves and blade mace, which is quite nice and adds to the complexity of flavour. Their main character is that they are mind-buggeringly hot. Stupendously hot. You may think you’ve eaten worryingly hot food at your local Thai restaurant but that’s nothing on these. They’re agony, I tell you. What makes them so manageable to horse down at the rate I’m getting through this jar is that the chilli heat doesn’t last so long and your soon only tasting quality Hampshire onion and milder spices. It’s wonderful relief after the severe pain when chewing. Only there’s not so much relief for me as my stomach is very sensitive to acidity and the white wine vinegar burns. Yeah, good.
The key to surviving the experience of eating these onions and looking more human than me in the picture above is to have the right drink with them. The right drink is definitely Pale Ale, its bitter hoppiness and rich density is a great foil for the acidity and chilli heat. The Pale Ale I am drinking at the moment is the excellent Sierra Nevada version. Here’s Kisu the cat after enjoying a few.
He’s a cat and cat’s are notoriously susceptible to alcohol, so don’t take his paralytic state as a negative message about booze, oh no…
Perfect Pickles pickled onions and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, wow I’m happy! And I hurt… but I’m happy!!
These onions are made by Dwayne at Perfect Pickles and also stocked by Beechcroft Direct.
You know, if some enterprising gastropub were looking for prestige onions to serve with their hearty food they could do a lot worse than contacting Dwayne. A few quid for a little bowl of unfeasibly frightening onions and you and your customers would be laughing/screaming. They really are THE pickled onions.